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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Guest post: Guidelines for Being a Steampunk Heroine- Brooke Johnson (The Brass Giant)

Guidelines for Being a Steampunk Heroine

Living in a steampunk dystopia isn’t easy, especially when you’re a girl. Here are ten guidelines that will help our feisty steampunk heroine survive the trials of living in this mechanical, male-dominated world.

1. Disguise yourself as a boy at every possible opportunity. No one takes you seriously as a girl anyway, and trousers are much more comfortable than corsets and petticoats—and more practical for the aspiring clockwork engineer.

2. Unfair rules are meant to be broken. So what if the establishment of elite engineers only allows men to join their ranks? You’re a damn fine engineer and you deserve a chance to take your skills to the next level! Another reason why point #1 is necessary. How else will you easily navigate the male-dominated institution?

3. Be wary of dashing young men who offer you everything you’ve ever wanted. That handsome, wealthy young man who is offering you a chance to live your dream as a Guild engineer is probably hiding something from you.

4. Also, it’s probably not a good idea to fall in love right now. Love is messy and complicates things and it will most certainly cause problems for you in the future. So you should probably keep your feelings in check around that handsome young man who asked for your help with that top-secret project.

5. There is definitely a conspiracy going on. It is well known that all political establishments govern the populace by the mandates of a longstanding conspiracy. It’s probably best you steer clear of anything to do with the government at this point, but most likely, you’ll somehow find yourself involved anyway. Probably because of points #3 and #4.

6. Never go anywhere without a screwdriver. It’s common knowledge that you will most certainly need to escape prison at some point, and what better tool than a screwdriver? And in your down time, you can use it to repair that broken music box or tinker with your favorite pocket watch.

7. Make friends with good-hearted scoundrels. Sure, they’re uncouth and make inappropriate remarks whenever you show up at their house soaked through with rainwater, but they’ll be the only person you can trust to keep you hidden from the police after you’ve escaped prison. Absolute necessity.

8. It’s probably a bad idea to wander the streets as a wanted fugitive. I mean, this should be a given, but even following point #1 and disguising yourself as a boy is hardly going to keep your identity a secret, especially when you were wearing boy’s clothes when you were arrested.

9. Getting involved in a plot to take down the government conspiracy is not going to end well. At this point, you have little choice in the matter—what with the arrest for treason and espionage over your head and the escape from prison and the fact that the boy you’re in love with is hell-bent on seeing this through—but if you succeed, you’ll save the world as you know it. So that’s a plus, right?

10. Pick your battles. It’s probably better to live to fight the conspiracy another day than stick to your ideals and get sent to the gallows. Just saying.

The Brass Giant (Chroniker City #1)
by Brooke Johnson
Expected publication: May 5th 2015

by Harper Voyager Impulse
Sometimes, even the most unlikely person can change the world

Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible dream for a lowly shop girl. Still, she refuses to give up, tinkering with any machine she can get her hands on, in between working and babysitting her foster siblings.

When Emmerich Goss—handsome, privileged, and newly recruited into the Guild—needs help designing a new clockwork system for a top-secret automaton, it seems Petra has finally found the opportunity she’s been waiting for. But if her involvement on the project is discovered, Emmerich will be marked for treason, and a far more dire fate would await Petra.

Working together in secret, they build the clockwork giant, but as the deadline for its completion nears, Petra discovers a sinister conspiracy from within the Guild council … and their automaton is just the beginning.

About the Author:
Brooke is a stay-at-home mom, amateur seamstress, RPG enthusiast, and art hobbyist, in addition to all that book writing. As the jack-of-all-trades bard of the family, she adventures through life with her fiercely-bearded paladin of a husband, their daughter the sticky-fingered rogue, and their cowardly wizard of a dog, with only a sleep spell in his spellbook.

They currently reside in Northwest Arkansas, but once they earn enough loot and experience, they'll build a proper castle somewhere and defend against all manner of dragons and goblins, and whatever else dares take them on.